Hunter Holden Poole of Gaffney, the founder of Rock Solid Outdoors, will never forget this past Monday, the first day of archery season for deer on his Cherokee County hunting grounds. The biggest buck Poole has ever encountered in South Carolina’s woodlands, a 141 6/8-inch brute, showed up right where he had hoped, 24 yards from his tree stand.
With his wife, Brittany, capturing every minute on video, Poole killed the huge, main-frame 8-pointer, on a 60-acre tract near his home. And while he had hundreds of trail-camera photos of the buck in the months leading up to Sept. 15, he believes it was a gift from above.
“I was really blessed to harvest him; he was a magnificent buck that I've been after some time,” said Poole, who earlier this year created an outreach ministry called “Rock Solid Outdoors” to share his testimony and promote God’s creations through his and others’ outdoor exploits.
The Pooles had several good trail-cam photos of the buck just before the season opened, and being a creature of habit got the 21 ¼-inch wide, 226-pound bruiser in trouble on the first afternoon of archery season.
“From the recent trail-camera pictures, we got a real good look at him. He was coming in like crazy,” said Poole, who headed to the woods with his wife on Monday, hoping the buck would show up on schedule.
They sat without incident for nearly two hours until around 6:30, when several does appeared and began eating acorns that were scattered up and down on oak ridge. Poole kept looking off to his right towards a thicket where he believed the buck might appear. His plan came together in the blink of an eye.
“All of a sudden, there he was. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry. After all, he was the boss of the woods,” Poole said.
The buck gradually worked its way closer to their stand, and as it did, Brittany Poole began filming its every move – but not without getting a little buck fever herself.
“I think she was more nervous than I was. I didn’t have time to be nervous. I was focused on killing him,” said Poole, who drew his bow as the buck walked past several holly trees. Then, the deer stopped walking and looked right at Poole.
“He was at 24 yards, and I wasn’t going to take any more chances,” he said. “I stuck him, and he ran into a reed thicket about 60 yards away; I heard him crash.”
When the Pooles watched the video, they were thrilled that Brittany had gotten every second of the hunt on tape, from just before shot until the buck disappeared into the thicket where they found him.